Understanding ERISA Versus Non-ERISA Retirement Plans

ERISA organizations are subject to the rules promulgated by The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This act identifies reporting requirements, fairness procedures, and fiduciary requirements. These requirements are considered “best practice” for all organizations; however, these requirements do not directly apply to Non-ERISA Plans.

Non-ERISA plans are those 403(b) plans that involve voluntary plan participation only. In other words, the employer is not contributing. Another parameter around this distinction is that all Church Plans are considered Non-ERISA.

Therefore, if your organization is a church, you want to ensure that you have a 403(b)(9) Church Plan. If your organization is not a church, and makes plan contributions of any kind (also known as “matching”), your retirement plan falls under the ERISA oversight rules. We hasten to say, that the ERISA regulations are very informative and add a high protection value to either a 403(b) or 401(k) Plan.

Click here to learn more about Church Retirement Plans.